The surf was the star of the day, mostly for pitching up eventually and although a bit too South for the occasion it offered more than enough for the Masters surfers to display their talent.
The programme consisted entirely of Masters (Ballies) surfing with Round 1 and Round 2 action in all of the Divisions. Those placing in the top positions in Round 1 advanced directly to Round 3 and the bottom placings of each Round 1 got a second chance in Round 2. Winning your heat or in some cases coming second in Round 2 means you get to join Round 1 winners in Round 3. Round 3 action will take place tomorrow (Day 5) in another day of Masters action.
In a day with so many highs and top class it is difficult to single out standout performances. Chris Knutsen (Eth) surfing in the O/55 men top scored with a 9 point something ride to earn today’s Freedom Surf trophy presented at the multi-sports club. Bush Greeff (uTh) also scored a 9 pointer in the final heat of the day. Local favourite Fred le Roux fought his way out of two round 2 heats to advance in both divisions. The O/50 heat of Robin Lavery (uTh), Andre Venter (NMD) and Robin Bisset (Ugu) had the crowds and commentators going crazy as they traded blow for blow in cooking waves.
In the inaugural heat of the O/60 Division it was another local Ray Harris who won his first ever SA Champs heat in only his third ever heat of competition. It was an emotional moment when his team mates created a tunnel for him to walk through when he left the water.
The Citroën SA Surfing Champs is supported by Sport and Recreation SA, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Reef Wetsuits. Zigzag, the Zululand Observer, the uMhlatuze Community Tourism Organisation, the City of uMhlatuze and Monster Energy. The week long event, being held at Alkantstrand Beach, Richards Bay, will conclude on Sunday 9 August.
Heats, contest schedule and photos for the event are updated each day websites and social media. Follow us on social media at #sasurfingchamps #citroensa #c4cactus #citroenrb for results and images as they happen at facebook.com/zulusurfriders and twitter.com/zulusurfriders. The event partner websites for more info and articles are www.zulusurfriders.co.za, www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za or www.zululandobserver.co.za